Depression in cattle, even cows get the blues
NORTH COAST cows are feeling blue, and it's not because of the milk price.
Depression in cattle is one of the signs livestock may be carrying a mosquito born disease known as three days sickness.
There have been recent diagnoses in the region and the sickness has a debilitating effect on cattle.
North Coast Livestock Health and Pest Authority general manager Brian McInnes said the disease was at its peak earlier in the year.
"January was the peak but it has settled down a bit more now," Mr McInnes said.
"It's spread by biting insects like mosquitos and midges."
Mr McInnes said the disease was moving south.
According to the authority, mosquitoes were on the increase after the rain earlier this year meaning more outbreaks of the insect-spread disease were expected.
LHPA Senior District Veterinarian Ian Poe said older animals which have been exposed to the virus previously should be immune, but younger cows are particularly susceptible.
"A greater number of cattle were affected this season including four year-old cows in some north coast herds, which is probably due to quieter seasons in previous years.
"Some cattle deaths did occur and the disease continues to be reported in that area."
Symptoms of three day sickness include fever, lameness, drooling, depression and recumbency.
Dr Poe said that while there is no specific treatment for three day sickness, farmers need to ensure affected animals have plenty of water, feed and shade available.